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“Monkey Day” Began As A Prank Calendar Entry

Every year on December 14th National Monkey Day celebrates the unique characteristics of simians. The day also focuses on other non-human primates such as apes, tarsiers, and lemurs.

  • Back in 2000, Casey Sorrow was an art student at Michigan State University, and he ended up writing “Monkey Day” on his friend’s calendar as a prank. But then they actually celebrated the occasion with other art students at MSU, and Sorrow later started collaborating with fellow MSU students on the Fetus-X comic strip, where the holiday was mentioned and popularized.
  • Monkeys, also known as simians, live all over the world.
  • Monkeys tend to walk on all four limbs. As a member of the primate family, they are considered a lesser ape. Most monkeys have a tail, though not all do.
  • Monkeys are divided into two categories – Old World monkeys and New World monkeys.
  • Old-world monkeys fill their cheek pouches with food. They swallow it later when they find a safe place to rest.
  • 2nd Century AD: In the early days of pioneering medicine Galenus (known as Galen) studied monkeys through dissection, noticing their similarities to humans
  • 1939: Flying monkeys are featured in the Wizard of Oz.
  • 1941: Curious George makes debut in books. Although there are only 7 books in the original series by H. A. Ray, the character lives on through an animated television show, and videos .
  • 1959: The first monkey in space.  A squirrel monkey, Miss Baker, and a rhesus macaque, Able, were the first monkeys who made a successful launch and return to space. They were sent by the United States Air Force on a Jupiter rocket.
  • There are over 264 different species of monkeys around the world.
  • Monkeys have opposable thumbs, which enables them to use tools and play games.
  • Howler monkeys are the loudest monkeys (and the loudest land animal) and can be heard from up to 3 miles away.
  • Squirrel Monkeys have more than 25 different calls. These calls can sound like barks, purrs, screams, peeps, and squawks.
  • The Lesula Monkey was discovered in June 2007 in the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Every monkey has a unique fingerprint, just like humans.
  • Capuchins Monkeys actually use tools. For example, they smash nuts with rocks and use large branches to club snakes.
  • Monkeys can remember specific routes in the forest when moving from one region of the forest to another.
  • Monkeys express affection, show their love, and make up with one another by grooming each other.
  • Monkeys sleep while sitting on trees. They balance on branches, resting on their bottoms, and often upright. They do this for security reasons to keep away from predators
  • Monkeys are as smart as a toddler.
  • The pygmy marmoset is the smallest known monkey in the world.
  • Pygmy Marmosets Are the World’s Smallest Monkeys 
  • Mandrills Are the World’s Largest Monkeys
  • Chimpanzees were once used for vaccination research during the 1970s. The research was in a now-abandoned research facility known as the New York Blood Center. When the research closed down in 2005, the remaining chimps were set free. They occupied a small landmass that was later dubbed as monkey island.
  • The monkey is the 9th Chinese zodiac sign.
  • We learned to wash our food from monkeys. During the 1940s, a research institute offered sweet potatoes to monkeys used in their research. They noticed that the monkey did not like the taste of dirt on the vegetable and wash them first before eating. Much later, humans also developed the same habit of washing their food before eating or cooking them.



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